Friday, December 30, 2005

Super Duper

Drum roll please. A major event in the...errr...blogosphere(?) is about to occur. The Big Rock Candy Mountain Top Two Albums of the year. As voted on by, well, me, world-renowned music scholar and all around smartass.

First, a few albums I enjoyed that didn't make the top ten (numbers 11-19?):

Son Volt: Okemah and the Melody of Riot
John Prine: Fair and Square
The Fall: Fall Heads Roll
Langhorn Slim: When the Sun's Gone Down
Various: For A Decade of Sin (BloodShot anniversary release)
Laura Cantrell: Humming By the Flowered Vine
Heartless Bastards: Stairs and Elevators
The DirtBombs: If You Don't Already Have A Look
Richard Buckner and Jon Langford: Sir Dark Invader vs. The Fanglord

There's about a million more albums I'd recommend (I haven't even scratched the surface of the albums I bought this year, but didn't come out this year...that's for later posts).

Sorry. Here's my top two, then:

2. Jack O. and the Tearjerkers: Don't Throw Your Love Away (Sympathy For the Record Industry)

Not that long ago, this was the album to beat, so far as my favorite album of the year went. Here's what I said:
I can't seem to take Jack Oblivian's Jack O. & the Tearjerkers disc, "Don't Throw Your Love Away" out of my cd player. It aint stuck, I just aint willin' to stop listening (blatant lie of course. I had to take it out to load it up to the server. All men are liars). This well may be the album to beat this year, so far as the Mountain's top ten is concerned. Aw, I'm just gushin' here. It's a Memphis soul stew trashjunk frenzy of Exile outtake grease drippings and leering joyous menace. Unlike a recent album by another Jack, you can sing along without feeling like a 12 year old discovering his first hard on. Nah, this Jack knows what to do with it. And he's going to take you down to the corner with him. Spin won't review it, radio won't play it, and ipod won't be using it in a commercial. That should give you an idea how good it is. It's rock'n'roll. Remember that?

That seems to sum it up pretty well. It'd take a pretty fucking perfect album to beat this one out.

Jack O. and the Tearjackers: Mad Dog 20/20 (mp3)

Jack O. and the Tearjerkers: Dope Sniffin' Dog (mp3)

1. The Detroit Cobras: Baby (BloodShot Records)
A quick confession: I have a huge crush on Rachel Nagy, lead singer for The Detroit Cobras. Had to get that little bit of fanboy fluff out of the way. Please don't tell the Missus. Hailing from, where else, Detroit, Michigan, the Cobras are a cover band, and rightful heirs to the Soul and R&B legacy of that fine city. Like the early Stones did for blues, the Cobras do for those classic, lost, fatback and cornbread sides of the 50's and 60's. Stewed in the gutter and slathered in swaggering sex, this collection of songs doesn't so much interpret, but grabs, humps, and fucks, squeezing into rough-hewn diamonds, sharp, jagged, and enticing with the promise of something forbidden. Rachel Nagy's voice is, to paraphrase the Immortal Bard Sam Spade, the stuff that wet dreams are made of. Raspy and nicotine-stained, full of suggestive sway, black and blue hurt that still wants to party, the soul of soul. It's a force of nature. This aint no sensitive warbling. This is sweaty, stained, nasty, greasy, chicken-fried, deep holler, oilcan rhythm and blues. And you can dance to it. Not a wrong step, not a clunker on the album. Nothing made the Mountain happier this year. This should be hailed as a classic. Hell, I'll say it, it is a classic.

Detroit Cobras: I Wanna Holler (But the Town's Too Small) (mp3)

Detroit Cobras: Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat) (mp3)

That's it. Time to kiss 2005 goodbye. Bye bye. Thanks for visiting. I'll be back next week. Have a good New Year, and, since it's not the correct thing to say these days, I'll say it: Drink up. Listen to the Detroit Cobras.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mumble Chicken


What's new?

Day four, then, of the Big Rock Candy Mountain Top Ten mostly favorite albums of the year. One more day to go. I'm not going to do a worst of the year, as previously advertised. There's no point, really. I don't want to give the band any more press than they've already gotten. Instead, I'd encourage folks to check out albums by The Bassholes, a two person group who've been playing smutty garage blues for longer than some of us have been alive. Once you have a taste, you'll never go vanilla again. Yeah, that was a veiled hint.

Here's some other fun stuff before I hit numbers 4 and 3 on the Top Ten list.

Most Disappointing Album of the Year: Mark Eitzel's "Candyass"-just...really...major letdown. I don't want to talk about it.

Most Favorite Television Show: My Name is Earl, if for nothing other than the soundtrack. Show's pretty fuckin' hilarious too. All hail White Trash.

Best Book I Should Have Read Years Ago: "The Ginger Man", by J.P. Donleavy. Genius.

Best Nonfiction: Harry Partch: A Biography by Bob Gilmore. Fascinating look into the making of an outsider wunderkind.

Fun, huh? Here's your numbers 3 and 4 of the Top Ten Albums of the Year. Oddly enough, they're both various artists discs:

4. Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough (Fat Possum)
You really didn't think I'd make it through a list without ole Fat Possum making an appearance, did you? It's been a tough year for the label, so far as their old guard go. Farewell R.L and Paul Jones. A few years ago Junior Kimbrough left Mississippi for good. A member of the Big Rock Candy Mountain Fringe Hall of Fame, Kimbrough was arguably one of the greatest bluesmen of his generation. His influence is widespread. On this cd, a host of indie, blues, and scunge rockers step up to show the love. A short list of performers includes Mountain favorites Iggy Pop, Spiritualized, The Black Keys, Mark Lanegan, Thee Shams, Jim White, and Jack Oblivion. Tribute albums shouldn't, and generally don't, work. This one does because the artist don't attempt to better Junior, they only showcase how Kimbrough's hypnotic groove has influenced their own body of work. Here's last years' top tenner Entrance and next year's top tenner (yeah, I've heard the new one already...sue me) Cat Power, on one of my favorite Kimbrough songs.

Entrance and Cat Power: Do the Romp (mp3)

3. Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues Vol. 2 (Lost Highway)
I'm actually going to include Vol. 1 in this list too, although it came out last year. This is a 4-disc (spread over 2 volumes) collection of the supposed hidden or forgotten R&B roots of a city known more for it's assembly line country music industry. I've bitched about the crap coming out of Nashville more than once on this here blog thingy. It's time to celebrate the good things in Music City. Shit, this collection rocks. Not a fist pumping rock, but a get your boogie on kinda rock. The origin of rock. Jukejoint soul at it's finest. From the obscure to the semi-well known, this set jumps, jives, and harmonizes it's way from start to finish. Notice how soul and r&b albums nowadays have that overproduced, deadening sheen to accompany a singer who trills their way up and down the scale without actually hitting a single note? Not a problem on this set. These cats can sing. And the "on-the-run" production styles leaves the music and the singers in the rawest of elements, melted down to a primal core. Yet another pick on my list that's all about sex, dancin', and havin' a real good time. I'm feeling generous today, so here's a song from each disc. One of these is not nearly as obscene as the title might suggest.

Cecil Grant: Nashville Jumps (mp3)

Shy Guy Douglas: Monkey Doin' Woman (mp3)

Charline Dowell and Orchestra: Wail Daddy (mp3)

Christine Kittrell: I'm a Woman (mp3)

The big two are tomorrow. Can you handle the excitement? What do I think was the best album of the year? Did I tip my hand a few months ago? Did something sneak in at the last minute? Are you quivering with anticipation? Oh boy, it's just like Christmas, innit?

For christ's sakes, support local business.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sweep My Boom Chicka

Day three of Big Rock Candy Mountain's fantastically ace Top Ten Albums of 2005.

Just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find a decent file-sharing service. Apparently RapidShare aint so rapid in some necks 'o' the woods. To the folks who kindly let me know (particularly two of my favorite bloggers), I thank you. To the two folks who nastily e-mailed me, and the feller who can't spell, and posts under "anonymous", y'all can fuck right off.

Phew, and anyway. Trying to test out that new file-sharing service. You should be able to "right click and save target as" (pc users)as usual, before the big Big Rock bandwidth crash of '05. If it still aint workin' well, let me know. In a civil manner. You can insult me all you want about my music opinions, politics, or the shirt I'm a-wearin'. That's what I'm here for.

Oh yeah, the list.

6. King Khan and BBQ: The King Khan and BBQ Show (Goner Records)
I didn't know what to do with this record. It probably makes perfect sense that junktrashsleaze masters King Khan and BBQ should team up. In some alternate supergroup universe. The fact that DM Bob produced this unholy soul sludge rattlin' racket just adds to the party in your pants we find on this slab of aluminum. I've gotta find this on vinyl. Your next shindig/hoedown/rentparty needs this album. Once the booze is flowin' and the grinding begins, slap this sucker on and watch things get nasty. Bring the redneck strippers.

King Khan and BBQ: Waddlin' Around (mp3)

5. Buck 65: This Right Here Is Buck 65 (V2)
Then we reach the burnt desert portion of the list. Ostensibly a hip hop artist, Buck 65 is more a gunslinger, wearing a Tom Waits hat and Johnny Cash's black trenchcoat. "This Right Here Is Buck 65" is an odds and sods bag, released at the beginning of this year, and meant to draw U.S. attention to his work, particularly his classic album, "Talkin' Honky Blues" (which is the best country album since Magnetic Fields' "Charm of the Highway Strip"). It's a sandblasted affair, and a dusty bible. Creaking, tinned, and faded rhythms compete with steel guitar and Buck 65's own country psychosis, delivered in a holy ghost cactus drawl. This aint no Bubba Sparxx yeehaw cornball. It's the sound of a man, caught between two competing styles, shitkicking in da club. He's chasing cowboys, digging up rhymes, and mumbling at the moon

Buck 65: Wicked and Weird (mp3)

As ever, most of us aint wealthy. If you've got a few spare bucks, and want to purchase one of these or other fine albums, consider checking out your local, independent, record store.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Day two of the exciting Big Rock Candy Mountain Top Ten Albums of the Year list. The records I listened to the most this year. Yay. Lists are fun. Let's jump right in.

8. Buff Medways: Medway Wheelers (Damaged Goods)
Just as I whine about music becoming formulaic and repetitive, I go and pick an album featuring a feller who hasn't changed his shtick in nearly 30 years. Hypocrite? Oh, you betcha. The Buff Medways are the latest full band mouthpiece for one Mr. Billy Childish. And like fellow eccentric, Mark E. Smith, Childish pulls his muse from a more primitive soil than most. There's no such thing as a bad Billy Childish album. This year's entry in his classic canon (over 100 releases and counting) brings everything you expect from Childish. Tribal, pounding, jungle punk filtered through 50's American rock, and layered in an English sense of Englishness. Above it all, the ranting, raving, headcoat-wearing madman that is Wild Billy Childish. This is your punk. It's your Dad's punk. And, hell, it's your grandfather's punk as well.

The Buff Medways: Poundland Poets (mp3)

7. Quintron and Miss Pussycat: Swamp Tech/Electric Swamp (Tigerbeat6)
Speaking of skinny white boys with keyboards, Mr. Quintron has got a big-ass organ. Hailing from the 9th Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana, Quintron's been twiddling with his organ and his drum buddy, submitting them to the gods of mutant swamp boogie. Miss Pussycat brings the puppets. It's the dirtiest kind of soul. I don't mean cussin', it just sounds filthy. A maniacal journey to the underbelly of a, perhaps, now lost New Orleans. A twisted roller rink from hell, chugging, swampwater organ and muddygroove beats melted down in the heat to the barest essence. Quintron on top, stripped to his underoos, pleading and demanding, inviting you to the last great party before the rains come. It's the type of album that could only have come from the 9th Ward. And did I mention Miss Pussycat and the puppets?

Quintron: Chatterbox (mp3)

Please, support your local, independent record store(s). God wants you to.

Monday, December 26, 2005

End Hits on the Radio

Hope y'all had a good day yesterday.

I'm sitting here with Children of Nuggets playing, a Christmas gift from the lovely Mrs. Mountain. It's too late to include it on my top ten list for the year, and a little unfair to the albums that have kept me warm and cool over the past year. But the set seems indicative of my fairly irritable attitude towards the piles of crap we've been inundated with over the year. Let me say first, that I'm really digging the Children box set. Collecting (from 1976-1996) bands influenced by the groups collected in the first two Nuggets sets, it's a hodgepodge affair, running the gamut from the Dukes of the Stratosphear to the Mummies. The Cramps to Teenage Fanclub, and a million points inbetween, before, and after. We've even got our pal Billy Childish represented. The styles and production values vary wildly. And, truth be told, some of the songs sound incredibly dated. Whether the songs weren't that great to begin with, or that the influences are too obvious, or, possibly, the subsequent bands influenced by the influenced were actually better, it's hard to pin down. What made these songs exciting when I, and others, heard them, 10-30 years ago, was how different they sounded to our mostly untrained ears. It seemed as if you could only find this music in the dustiest of corners. Radio didn't play it, music magazines didn't cover it, your friends didn't know who these bands were. Maybe you only found out about that 7" single from some greasy asshole at the local record store. Or you read about it in a one-off 'zine (remember 'zines? The paper/mimeographed version of blogs.).

REM used to be cool. It's true. It's very in vogue now to discuss how much they suck. And they do suck now. Michael Stipe is a cartoon. It's hard to communicate just how revolutionary those first few notes of "Radio Free Europe" sounded back in the early 80's. It was weird, melancholy, and had nothing in common with Boston, Bad Company, or Bob Seger.

I don't know if it's a sign of me embracing getting older, or fighting against getting older that I find myself less and less interested in the "important" music being covered in Spin, Rolling Stone, Magnet, Uncut, Mojo, and all over this world wide web thingy. My list of favorite albums doesn't match up well. I don't want to clap my hands and say yeah to a bunch of skinny white boys with keyboards; not with Al Green and Mick Collins, and Andre Williams still making albums. Bright eyes cause mine to dim. I'd rather have a Jook Block party than a Bloc block party. September gurls over decemberists. You get the picture. I never liked prog rock, never liked "new wave", never liked shiny, happy people, never liked "goth". So, I'm not going to start now, when all these bands are repackaged, re-named, re-clothed, and force-fed to me by tastemakers, payola-rich radio programmers (I'm talking to you, Franz), ad grubbing magazines, and tv stations aiming for the lowest common denominator. Before music splintered into a million little sub-genres, you had to make a great album to get noticed. Now, you just have to make a good enough album to win out/over your demographic. We live in the marketing age of Adequate.

Doom and gloom, woe is me. One of the many problems with my rant above is that music isn't dead. There are still artists churning out great albums and great songs. Amps are still getting cranked to 11, and folks are still shouting, grunting, churning, twisting, dancing, and fucking.

Another problem with my rant above is that some folks, by nature, do like different things than other folks. I like greasy, others like smooth. I like organs and fiddles, others like drum'n'bass. Perhaps it's not so bad that everyone's taste is a little different. Maybe it's the struggle of the duality of populist and elitist. I have to turn one of those cards in. I'm not a music critic, I'm just a guy who listens to records.

Did I just wimp out?

So. Now I start my 5-day roundup of what were my favorite albums of the year. Yes, I said favorite, not best. Who the hell knows what the best albums of the year were? You don't, I don't, Rolling Stone doesn't. Get back to me in 10 years, and we'll discuss who we're still listening to. Of this list, 8 are brand spanking new albums, one is a retrospective, and one is:

10. Reverend Frost Presents: Spread the Good Word! A Rock'n'Roll Jamboree
This could easily have been number one on the list. 35 greasy, pounding, soulful, rockin', hoppin' and wailin' tunes. The best mix cd I've ever received, courtesy of The good Rev. at Spread the Good Word. I honestly don't know if a day has gone by that I haven't listened to this mix. If you're not visiting Rev. Frost's website daily, there's something wrong with you. Sorry, but there is. If you want the true roots of rock'n'roll, it's all there. I don't know how he does it, and I covet his record collection. And for fuck's sake, somebody sign this man to a record contract. I had a hard time picking just one song to share, so I let Mrs. Mountain choose her favorite.

Evelyn Freeman: Didn't It Rain (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

9. Scott H. Biram: The Dirty Old One Man Band (Bloodshot)

Magnet hated this record. That's a good thing, since Magnet prefers trends over music. If you've been missing a new album from Bob Log III, this should tide you over just fine. One man, greasy slide guitar, lots of stompin' and harmonica-izing, Scott H. Biram gave me my favorite dirt on the strings, hillbilly hollerin', mutant inbreds, nasty groove sweat-type album of the year. Obsessed with truckers, chickens, and bbq's, it's a grand affair from the seediest dive you've ever been to.

Scott H. Biram: Whiskey (mp3) (RapidShare link)

More music, less ranting tomorrow. Shop locally, cuz Amazon doesn't want you to.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Unwrap My Package

Well, Happy Holidays folks, whatever and however you celebrate. Thanks for stopping by. Here's to a little peace on earth, and to you. Don't let anyone tell you that's a bad thing to wish for.

Got lots of tasty goodness on tap for the next year.

Two final Holiday tunes today. One is my all time favorite Xmas song. You probably already have it, I posted about it last year , and it's on virtually every Holiday compilation worth having. But what the hell. I'm keen on it.

First, Chicago Blues legend Eddy Clearwater gets a little help from our favorite masked marauders, Los Straightjackets, on a tune of Holiday hope and joy. Over a drenched organ line, they tell us:

Good time are coming baby,
Don't let these bad times get you down.
Pretty soon it's gonna be Christmas,
Santa Claus is coming back to town

Eddy Clearwater with Los Straightjackets: Good Times Are Coming (mp3) (RapidShare link)

And, of course, The Pogues.

The Pogues: Fairytale of New York (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Have a Merry, Happy one. See you on Monday with the start of my top ten list, my worst album of the year, and other such goodness.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fill Your Stockings

Ok. Two more days 'til the big whoop de doop. One more extra special post after this one. I'll be too busy opening my new ipod on the 25th to post music (that's not true. I don't want an ipod. Am I the only one who does not actually want an ipod? Please send me 40 records instead.) I'm going to cut short all the ramblin' and rantin', and just give you the songs. I've got wordier posts starting the day after Christmas, when I begin my top 10 countdown crankiness.

Oh, and if you're reading this and have anything to do with a record label, please sign Rev. Frost. It's the right thing to do.

Soul'n'blues'n'rhythm'n'jazz today. With special guests the Hepsters, the Marquees, The Staples Singers, Floyd Dixon, and Mabel Scott.

Hepsters: Rockin' and Rollin' With Santa Claus (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Marquees: Santa Done Got Hip (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Staple Singers: Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Floyd Dixon: Empty Stockings (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Mabel Scott: Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Check out your local, independent record stores. Make it your present to community and preservation of independent thought and taste.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jungle Bells

A little snotty. A little greasy, a little jittery, and just a little loud today. That's the Holiday spirit. Spirits are good. Have one. Cuz today we're gonna rawk, Christmas style. Pump your fists and say yes, indie kids.

The Fall is one of the Mountain's favorite groops. We've never posted about Mark E. Smith's little combo before. Either an oversight, or a feeling of unworthiness. Regardless, Mr. Smith and company would like share some of their feelings about Christmas. We've got an old classic followed by a newer, future Holiday standard. Jittery.

The Fall: No Xmas For John Quays (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

The Fall: (We Wish You) A Protein Christmas (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

Mick Collins, of the world famous, Grammy hogging, Rolling Stone cover stars The Dirtbombs apparently hates this song. Mick hates everything, though. And don't you dare call his band "garage". Merry Christmas, Mick, from your family at the Mountain. Greasy (with a bit of jangle).

The Dirtbombs: My Last Christmas (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

And where would we be without the Sonics? We wouldn't be here, that's for darn tootin'. Maybe the finest practitioners of 60's punk, the Sonics are the temple, the very grail of snotty goodness.

The Sonics: I Don't Believe In Christmas (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

Support your local, independent trash'n'punk rockers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Good Ole Santa

Gonna load y'all up today, and the next few days, with Holiday glee (or woe). Even got a repost request.

First, just a reminder that on Dec. 26th I'll start the cranky countdown of my favorite albums of the year. Maybe I'll throw in some irritable commentary and a "worst of" category or two.

Now the music.

Red Sovine is responsible for some of the worst treacle ever to be recorded. I can't deny it. His "talking songs", delivered in a morbidly tearful voice, about dead wives, crippled orphans talking on cb's, and roses, are guaranteed to send those with even the heartiest stomachs out of the room for a few minutes. Luckily for us, when he sticks to singin' he performs some of the most kick ass truckin'n'cowboy tunes this side of Dave Dudley. Below, we've got the kick ass version of ole Red, informing us of Santa's true origin.

Red Sovine: Santa is a Texas Cowboy (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Kitty Wells , the "Queen of Country Music", shook up the establishment a bit in her day, defiantly calling out the menfolk for general bad behaviour and cussedness. Here, Kitty invokes a little revisionist history, with the real story of how Santa finds his way through the night sky.

Kitty Wells: Dasher With the Light Upon His Tail(mp3) (RapidShare link)

George Jones is George Jones. The Voice. The Possum. No Show Jones. Ask him about the time he rode his lawn mower to the nearest liquor store. Ask him about a lonely Christmas.

George Jones: Lonely Christmas Call (mp3) (RapidShare link)

And, by special request:

Holly Twins with Eddie Cochran: I Want Elvis For Christmas (mp3)

Gettin' greasy tomorrow, soulful on Friday, and downright joyous on Saturday.

Support your local independent retailers this Holiday season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Date Boogie

Oops. Missed a couple of days. Sorry bout that.

Seems like every time I go to post a new song, somebody out there beats me to it. Half my country xmas tunes appear to be collected on one various artists album posted elsewhere on the web. Sigh. Woe is me. I'm going to go into my bedroom and write a sensitive song about it on my guitar. I don't own a guitar. I own an accordion though. That's true. Where was I? (We're fighting a nasty cold here at the Mountain, so please excuse any nonsensical rambling. It's the medicine.).

For the final stretch, I'm gonna let Big Joe Turner start us off with a plea to his lady on Christmas day.

Big Joe Turner: Christmas Date Boogie (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Plan your Christmas date at a local establishment. Applebee's just aint romantic.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Jingle Tingle

Just got a fantastic little book called Naked Vinyl: Bachelor Album Cover Art. Lots of naughty cheesecake album covers from the golden age of rekkids. Fine stuff.

Kay Martin isn't featured in the book, but her classic Christmas album, I Know What He Wants For Christmas has made it's share of rounds around the world wide web already. Don't know much about our friend Kay. She seems to have some rather devious designs on poor Santa, mostly of the carnal nature. Her Christmas bop is more of a horizontal swing on Mr. Clause's instrument. A fine example of 50's-style stag albums with plenty of stripper drums, cheesy organ, and more than slightly suggestive lyrics. Who doesn't enjoy a little whoopee at the Holidays?

Just in case you haven't picked this up elsewhere, here's a couple of naughty bits to keep you warm this Holiday season.

Kay Martin and Her Body Guards: Santa's Doing the Horizontal Twist (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

Kay Martin and Her Body Guards: Come On Santa, Let's Have a Ball (mp3) (RapidShare Link)

Give your loved ones something special this Christmas. Wait, that sounded funny. Give your local record store clerk something special this Christmas. That sounds better.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Xmas Lights Spin

Go fuck yourself Bill O'Reilly.

Felt good to get that off my chest.

I can't imagine a California Christmas. Too much sun. Too hot. Makes the Christmas trees look funny. And the folks who put fake snow in their yards? Real nice. Maybe I've been brainwashed by the White Christmas lobby. Yeah, snow kind of sucks most days of the winter. But there's something about a Christmas Eve snowfall that makes me nostalgic for...I childhood? Wonder? Anticipation? As a generally cynical bastard, I can be a rank sentimentalist at times.

Buck Owens is from California. Bakersfield, the streets of. Actually he was born in Texas, but his move to Bakersfield precipitated his rise to importance, and the creation/honing/discovery of the "Bakersfield sound".

Like Sonny Boy Williamson, Owens aint feeling too swell this Holiday season. I don't want to say it's cuz he's in California, but I'm sure that doesn't help.

Buck Owens: Blue Christmas Lights (mp3) (RapidShare link)

We're gonna have sex tomorrow. In the meantime, support your local fake snow merchants.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Put Some Records On While I Pour

We think Dean Martin is super fab in the ultra rare air up here at the Mountain. You figured that already. Cooler than Frank and Sammy combined, and world champion at not giving a fuck. There's a rumor Dino was drinking apple juice in his tumbler and would rather sit in his hotel room watching westerns than get with the ladies. We choose not to believe such rubbish. Nah, Dean was the king.

And here's Dean working his mojo like only he can, taking a traditional ode to Holiday chastity, and turning it into the kind of leering, lecherous come-on we expect from the lord of lush, the captain of the cocktail. Dean wants some action, and he's not taking no for an answer.

Get toasty and warm with Mr. Dean Martin.

Dean Martin: Baby It's Cold Outside (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Dino was an independent kind of feller.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Richters Love the Nog

I don't know who the Richters are. They seem like a nice early 60's family. Maybe Mom was an alcoholic. Dad was an Alabama police officer busting heads to save the world from Civil Rights. The son was a petty thief, and daughter number one was caught in the throes of reefer madness. Who knows? Regardless, a very Merry Christmas to you, Richter family.

I like cold medicine.

The Dalheart Imperials are from Denver, Colorado, home of one of the best,shamefully underreported country and western scenes in the country. They play that kind of vintage western swing and boogie we love so much here at the Mountain.

I'm trying not to repeat any songs that I posted during last year's Christmas fun, but the following tune seemed to be the most popular of last year's entries (to the point where I was still getting repost requests in August). So I'm offering it again. In a non-expiring format. Enjoy.

The Dalheart Imperials: Old Man Spivey's Egg Nog (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Check out your local Christmas cowboys.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Aluminum Santa Rocket

Everybody knows that Santa's a rocket man. He saved the earth from the Martians. After that, he had a wonderful Christmas on Mars. Even our government knows all about Santa's little space journeys.

Modern trash'n'soul rockers The Bellrays know all about Santa's little secret.

The Bellrays: Rocket Ship Santa (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Support your local, independent rocket scientist.

Monday, December 12, 2005

JukeJoint Xmas Shack

Good news and bad news. The good news is that,starting today, the new tunes are gonna be up indefinitely. The bad news is that they're RapidShare. Yup, since Thanksgiving my daily hits have soared (well, soared for this blog...maybe soared aint the right word. Maybe increased is better. We aint exactly the number one stop on the internet, dontcha know.). So, I underestimated the bandwidth issue. 'Til I get the ole bandwidth increased, y'all stuck with RapidShare links. Which really isn't so bad, is it? Is it?

Want to thank those saying nice things about and/or linking me. There's a ton of sites out there with odd and nontraditional Xmas tunes. You should check 'em all out. Short list:

Keep the Coffee Coming
Yule Shoot Your Eyes Out
Spread the Good Word
Red Ryder BB Gun
Lil Mike
PCL LinkDump

If I've missed a good site, or I've missed you, let me know.

It's all about the sharing. Not so much Cher.

The man, the legend, the hard-drinkin', piano poundin', chicken shack boogie woogie Texas troubadour Amos Milburn wants to share.

Amos Milburn: Christmas Comes But Once a Year (mp3) (RapidShare link)

Visit your local, independent Juke Joint

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Elvis in Your Stocking

And then it was Richard Pryor. In a final, perhaps unintentional joke, they haven't yet updated the website linked above. Top of the page shows a picture of Pryor, and a word balloon reading "I aint dead yet, motherfucker." Perfect. Pryor, Bruce, Hicks. In that order. See ya, funny man.


Never loved Elvis (guess the reference, 80's/90's college rock kids). It's true. Never did. Never got his shtick. Well, I got it, but it didn't do anything for me. Not like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Esquerita do it for me. But I do understand that a whole heck of a lot of other folks think he was (and is, depending on one's view of his supposed death. On a toilet.) the cat's meow. Deified, no less.

Eddie Cochran and the Holly Twins love Elvis. They'd like to have a little of that action this holiday season.

The Holly Twins (with Eddie Cochran): I Want Elvis For Christmas (mp3)

Check out your local businesses this season.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yule Train

Thanks for stopping by.

Snowed a little here in Chicago yesterday. Again. Morning commute's gonna be a bitch. Luckily I'll let my friendly limo driver take me to work. Presuming public transportation is actually running anywhere close to schedule. I doubt it.

The snowstorm provided yet another reason to avoid flying if at all possible. Our pal Merle Haggard knows. He's taking a train home for Christmas.

Merle Haggard: Going Home For Christmas (mp3)

Independent record stores. Hooray.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Booze Christmas Without You


Don't forget to check out Locust Street on a regular basis. Rumor has it the third installment of the 7 Drinks of Mankind should be up soon.

Speakin' of drinkin'...

I read somewhere that Thanksgiving has the second highest alcohol consumption in the U.S., right after New Year's Eve. Christmas can't be too far behind that. Something about having too many relatives around generally sends one straight to the bottle. Loneliness can do that too. Specially if your lady or fella has gone away.

Sonny Boy Williamson II's woman done gone away, and guess what he's doing Christmas day?

Sonny Boy Williamson II: Sonny Boy's Christmas Blues (mp3)

For the Holidays, check out yr local pub. They have better decorations.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

George Bailey Lassoes Xmas

Happy Birthday Tom Waits!

Everybody loves a little rockabilly in their stocking, right? Thought so.

Known as "Little Miss Dynamite", since she was about the size of a tall elf, Brenda Lee easily lived up to her moniker (sorry, bad pun), cranking out some classic rockabilly and country and western-tinged sides. She has the distinction of being inducted in the Country Music, Rockabilly, and Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fames. Yeah, she was pretty good.

Y'all already know the big Christmas hit of hers. So I'm going to share a particular cowgirl fantasy favorite of mine. Who knew Santa was into bondage?

Brenda Lee: I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus (mp3)

Thanks for stopping by. Now stop by your local, independent business for your holiday shopping. Make their season a little brighter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Old Toy Trains

When I was a little whippersnapper it was pure hell trying to get me to go to bed on Christmas Eve. It was either youthful anticipation or the early stages of sheer materialistic greed. Probably the latter.

I never got a toy train set for Xmas. Still waiting on that elephant, too. Roger Miller feels my pain, man. And I feel his. Which isn't as dirty as it sounds. There's a sense of sadness mixed with wonder running through the following tune. Something lost?

Here then is Mountain fab fave Roger Miller bringing the toys for the tots.

Roger Miller: Old Toy Trains (mp3)

Support your local, independent train conductor.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dig That Crazy Santa

Apparently, even those boppin' beatniks get a jones for Santa Claus.

Babs Gonzalez was one of them hepster bop singers, all finger snappin' cafe cool, throwing down crazy, mad, existential rhyme over hard bop jazzmatazz. Goatee optional.

Gonzalez was backed in his career by such luminaries as Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, and Art Pepper, all providing the hard bop groove and cool to match his (now very dated) beat repetoire. More famously he formed the cult bop group Three Bips and a Bop, a cult favorite amongst record collectors of a certain vintage.

Here then, is Gonzalez giving his own cool cat tale of a beatnik Santa Claus. With Organ!

Babs Gonzalez: Be-Bop Santa Claus (mp3)

Support your local, independent coffee shop. On the other hand, do not support your local slam poet. It only encourages them.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Go Go Santa

It's snowing like the dickens here in Chicago. And we've got the shiny aluminum Christmas tree up, the kind with the spinning color wheel at the base. Ahhh, the glory of kitsch. What better time for some toasty holiday cocktails and a little dancin'.

And who better than 50's Rhythm and Blueser Big John Greer to help us out?

Big John Greer: We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo (mp3)

Support your local discotheque

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Loneliness of the Long Distance Santa

Well. It's back to being Ernest today. Ernest Tubb, that is. See my post from last month for full on Tubb love. Why Ernest again. Well, seems your man there is a touch lonely this Christmas. Still walking that damn floor. Maybe Santa can help.

Ernest Tubb: I'll Be Walking the Floor This Christmas (mp3) (file removed)

Support Independent Record Stores. The clerks are lonely.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Lootin' Santa's Booty

Ummm...sorry about the picture to your left. I, uh,'s really inappropriate, I know. See, I had another picture that might have worked, but I decided to use it for another, later, post. So. Errr...what can I say. I'm an Oregon State fan. Yeah.

Somehow I don't think Mae West would've minded too much.

I spend all year trying to do informative posts about artists I really, like, care about, man. Hopefully inject something witty or definitive or slightly interesting about the musician that will make you want to listen to them. Maybe throw in a political rant or a not-so-veiled swipe at the White Stripes (for more on my feelings about the family White, see my first post after Christmas). Usually this is done with the illusion that folks actually read the post, and don't just jump to the free music.

Then I hit the Christmas posts, and it's all quick in and outs.

What can I say? Good god, man, things will return to normal after the holiday. For now it's all about the wintry cocktails (See Locust Street). None of the songs posted over this period of time are meant to be portrayed as the best, brightest, or most important of an artist's work. Nah, it's just for fun. For now. Remember fun?

Did I mention fun? Did I mention Mae West? What can I say that you don't already know about Mae West? She was in a few films in her life. Did some singing and musical type stuff. Some say she was a forerunner in the fight for women's sexual equality. And...she did some Christmas songs. Yup.

Mae West: Put the Loot in the Boot, Santa (mp3)

If you've got the loot, support your local independents.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Get Trucked for Christmas

You knew this post had to be on it's way at some point. If I can't have an elephant, maybe I can get a big rig. Heaven is a truck?

Red Simpson is a favorite of ours here at the Mountain. Hell, anyone writin' truckin' tunes is welcome at the Mountain. And this aint the last Santa semi you're gonna get from us this year. This one goes out special for John (from Milwaukee). And, oh my god, y'all, if you got a truck...get busy. Santa's counting on you.

Red Simpson: Truckin' Trees For Christmas (mp3)

Purchase your Xmas tunes from a local, independent retailer. Help their youngun's have a happy Holiday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Santa's Got a Long Trunk

Finished my Xmas list, and Mrs. Mountain isn't taking some of my requests seriously. At least Hank Thompson, one of the trinity of Hillbilly Hanks (with Snow and Williams), understands what I want. Hank, you're the best.

Hank Thompson: I'd Like to Have An Elephant For Christmas (mp3)

Bandwidth is just about gone. If it runs out today, and you can't get the tunes, come back tomorrow when we get it all back again. Hooray first of the month.

The Mountain aint real keen on zoos. Instead, check out your local, independent rekkid store. They might have some Hank Thompson on the shelf.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Santa Brings the Love

Notice a Santa theme going on? Not intentional on my part, I assure you. Just seems to work out that way. Today's no exception (nor are the next couple of days). Not a religious fella myself, so I guess I'm more drawn to myth and archetype. Or, more probably, I just like songs about fat, red-nosed folks.

Legendary New Orleans barrellhouse boogie man, Champion Jack Dupree , is a little lonely this Christmas. He wants Santa to help.

Champion Jack Dupree: Santa Claus Blues (mp3)

If you're gonna jump down anyone's chimney, try going local.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Heck the Balls

Four days in a row. Pretty good for us here at the slacker Mountain.

Today we've got a little chestnut from our patron saint, the eternally lovely Loretta Lynn. I'm gonna assume no introduction is really necessary. This coal miner's daughter is a true legend, in Johnny Cash league. Really.

Loretta gets a little suggestive on this one, threatening to bean ole Santa in his Ho Ho Ho with a snowball. Not a good idea to piss Miss Lynn off, I spect.

Loretta Lynn: To Heck With Ole Santa Claus (mp3)

Note: Tunes will be up for only 3 days during the Holiday fun...bandwidth dontcha know. I'll leave Andre Williams up for an extra day, but tomorrow morn, he and The Youngsters will be gone. Grab em while they're hot.

Local snowballs pack better.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Santa's Brewin' a Heap O'Woe

Jack Scott's one of them there late 50's/early 60's country'n'rockabilly fellers you see all the new whippersnappers tryin' to emulate. Early photos show him workin' a Robert Mitchum-style cool detachment and sneer. One of the early legends, a bopper and honkey tonkin' rumbler.

What follows is yet another cautionary tale. Ladies, if you're steppin' out on your man on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus, you gotta figger there's trouble brewin' when you get home. Scott swings the tale Yule style.

Jack Scott: There's Trouble Brewin' (mp3)

If you're steppin' out on Christmas, consider your local, independent Kris Kringle.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tie One on For Santa

Holidays around the world are always, of course, a cause for a drink or ten. Too much time with family will do that to a person. But watch out, kiddies, The Fuzz may be lurking around the corner. Those red lights behind you may not be a mobile Christmas tree, fireworks, or Rudolph. Ooooh, pretty lights.

Here's a cautionary doo wop trash number from The Youngsters.

The Youngsters: Christmas in Jail (mp3)

Support your local, independent Penal colony.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rudibaker's Christmas Wish

Yup. Day after Thanksgiving, and time for the Big Rock Candy Mountain daily dish of holiday joy. Bet you couldn't wait. We'll start things off with a popular favorite 'round these parts.

If these tunes aint yr cuppa, please come back after Xmas when I'll do my roundup of Big Rock's fave (and least fave) albums of the year, and then we'll return to our normal service of regular ole slabs of non-celebratory honks, hicks, hillbillys and hollerers. But, hey, stick around. You might like a few of these non-Como delights. Got some truck drivin', blues wailing, greaseballin', sex starvin' yule logs on the road ahead.

Who better that Mr. Rhythm hisself, Andre Williams, to kick off our season on the right foot. You know love him. Man's a legend. Got a set on him. Dirty bastard, too. What can I say that you don't already know? This little tune dates back to the early '70's, and he recorded it under the moniker of "Rudibaker". It's a delightful little joint with Andre wishin' all the best to, really, just about everybody. Great randy backup singers too. Enjoy.

Andre Williams (a.k.a Rudibaker): Christmas Wish

Think about yr freezing local record store clerks. Help them buy a trendy '70's sweater by buying from yr closest independent retailer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Stop what you're doing and git yr ass over to Locust Street. Chris is featuring The Seven Drinks of Mankind, and he's starting with a Big Rock favorite, Beer! It's one of the best blog posts I've read. Consume lustily the whole damn thing, I say.

Y'all done eatin' up my bandwidth (which is a good thing), so I'm gonna let you enjoy Locust Street today,
then go visit all the great sites posted to yr left (I've added some new ones).

I'll return on Friday with the big ole daily (DAILY!) holiday spectacular Big Rock HO HO Xmas blowout super sale (Free Free Free...don't get much better than that).

First up on Friday will be a feller y'all love and adore. Give you a hint: his alter ego is "Rudibaker". Google away.

Did I mention you really need to pay a visit to Locust Street? Get goin' then. See you the day after Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shack is a Graveyard

Link Wray may have died. Info is sketchy. Since I just recently posted on the man , I won't bore ya'll with another tribute. Hop over to PCL LinkDump for more information, links to tributes and mp3's, and full on Link Wray love. I'll have some muscic tommorow. Rumble, kids, Rumble.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Coughin' Nails

That, to your left, is not Ernest Tubb by the way. But this post is.

A few years ago, one of my favorite bands back in Denver featured a picture of Ernest Tubb on the entire front of the bass drum. Just a black and white "howdy folks" kind of picture, and it was funny and apt. While the names Lefty, Hank, George, Merle, Willie, Johnny, and Jimmie often get passed around as the deities of Country and Western, you don't hear so much the name Ernest. Maybe it's the name itself...not a very cool name nowadays. It's a little embarrassing to say out loud, makes one think of a great uncle who was a little special, or something (like Merle's a real hip name). Maybe Ernest didn't have that rebel personality we like to associate with real Country. So far as i know Tubb wasn't a drunk, didn't do jail time, didn't take the pot (sorry, Woodstock reference), didn't really invent a genre, and didn't die tragically.

Like Patsy Montana and Jimmie Rodgers, it's hard now to fully grasp how big Ernest Tubb was in his day, and all the way up through the 70's, racking up top ten hits and legions of fans. Tubb was one of the most honored and revered Country stars on the planet for almost 50 years. Many, myself included, considered Tubb the quintessential sound of country, from the spot-on arrangements and instrumental prowess, to a dead killer voice that rivals George Jones in its perfect blend of honk, yodel, and cry.

But something happened over the last 10 years or so. Tubb's name started disappearing from lists of influences. No features or career retrospective in popular country music magazines. Ernest got traded for Gram. I'm not saying he's completely disappeared. You can still hear "Walking the Floor" and "Thanks a Lot" being covered by any honkey tonk bar band worth their salt. He's still regarded highly, just not mentioned very often. Perhaps it's sour grapes on my part. Along with the Hanks (Snow, Williams, and Thompson), Tubb's on my short list. I'll ramble on about Ernest to complete strangers if given the chance. Not very successfully, it should be noted. Thanks a lot.

Cornpone vs. the big, big city.

Did I miss the mark?

Two tipplin' tunes from Tubb, then. One with a very special guest (Ernest was know for his duets). Guess who.

Ernest Tubb: Drivin' Nails in My Coffin (mp3)

Ernest Tubb w/Very Special Guest: Bartender (mp3)

Please consider shopping from your local independent.

Holiday fun begins in a week and a day. First entry I know y'all gonna really like. I swear.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Help Me Fake it Thru the Night

Sorry about that cockup with the songs on the previous post. The links are fixed, and y'all should be able get yer truckin' fix proper now. Let me know if'n yr still having trouble.

Here's another post about a musician you may be surprised we like up here on the Mountain.

I know I promised pre-70's country, but I'm cheating by just a nudge here. Technically, Sammi Smith started out in the late 60's, but she's best known for her hit from 1970, "Help Me Make it Through the Night." Written by Kris Kristofferson, the song propelled her(and him) towards a top hit and a Grammy or two. And we're real impressed with Grammys here at the Mountain. And that should have been just about it. Smith had only two more top ten hits, and sort of disappeared from popular entertainment. 'Cept, as most of us know, popular entertainment is rarely the full story. More often than not, it's not the story at all.

Thanks to "Help Me Make It...", Smith got the dreaded countrypolitan poster child tag slapped on her. And as countrypolitan went, so did those who practiced it. Straight to hell. But Smith was never a practitioner of that bland, citified urban cowboy crap. The laziness of journalists, A&R types, and critics placed her there. But Sammi had other interests, and other friends. Friends who went by names like Waylon and Willie. Yeah, Smith was much more aligned with the "Outlaw" movement and it's take no prisoners attitude towards the crap coming out Nashville. To put it in modern context, she was Sally Timms to Waylon's Jon Langford. A respect for the old leavened with a rawer, newer spin. It was this fatal "flaw" that made her poison on the charts, and virtually forgotten in quick succession. Too bad.

To keep the comparisons rolling, Smith was the link between "Dusty in Memphis" and Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball". Her voice was sex, but not kittenish, more late night after hours, when the line dancing is done and yr headed back to her place for a nightcap from a bottle with an X on it. Soul filtered through Owen Bradley. So, forget about what you know of "Help Me Make it Through the Night" (which is actually a pretty darned good song if you isolate it from it's surroundings), and give Sammi Smith a spin on yr ole media player. Neither of the following songs contain distorted guitar, organ solos, ranting male strutters, or references to alcohol (one of those is not true...guess which one). Nope, just good old fashioned country. Make way for a lady.

Sammi Smith: Sunday Morning Coming Down (mp3)

Sammi Smith: When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (mp3)

That special tingly holiday time o'the year is comin'. Buy yr loved ones a gift from your local independent retailer. And don't forget the upcoming Big Rock Candy Mountain daily holiday bandwidth blowout. Starts the day after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mack Daddies

The links are fixed! The links are fixed! Sorry about that folks. The truckin' tunes are now up and password free. Please feel free to download to your heart's content. Truck away, truckers.

Truck driving music today. (get that out the way for all the RSSaggregatorblogline purposes.)

I don't watch much of that there television thingy. Exceptions being baseball, football, the Daily Show, and the Tuesday night trinity of The Gilmore Girls, My Name is Earl, and The Office (I'd include Scrubs, but I don't know where it went). Now, lest you think I'm about to turn into Stereogum and go all hot entertainment news on you, I only mention this as a prelude to today's musical adventures. Sort of. See, someone at My Name is Earl must have a pretty interesting record collection. And last night's episode was a Big Rock Candy wet dream. Smokey and the Bandit and Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down" figured prominently in the plot, and left me nearly in tears with hilarity. Hi larity. (and that's not even counting the "Everybody's Talkin'" scene with Ray and Earl passing each other on separate buses...guess you had to be there. Quality programming, folks). Anyhow, I got to wonderin' often in recent years have we heard truckin' music on prime time television? Probably not that much. Shame, really. I'd watch more tv then. Or not.

So, in an astonishingly roundabout way, we come to The Willis Brothers. I'm pretty sure I've posted something about them awhile back, but memory fails, and it's a pain in the ass to try to hunt through previous posts. Or laziness.

Starting their career sometime in the mid-30's in the traditional radio broadcasts so popular at the time, the Willis Brothers were a mix of Western and Swing styles, playing tightly loose hillbilly stomps and long road wrangles. One of the first groups to put a signature on the blossoming trucker subgenre, it wasn't 'til the 60's that the Brothers fully capitalized on the style. Now, of course they're known mostly for the truckin', and less for the previous 30 years of music they made. 'Course I'm not helping matters much here, as I'm presentin' the diesel.

I always wanted to form a band called Truck Stop Hookers. Probably not a good idea, but it always seemed like one 5-6 beers into the evening. Not that that's what the following songs are about, of course. Only good clean romancin' here at the Mountain. Call them...errr...Mack Daddies, I guess. Sorry 'bout that.

The Willis Brothers: Truck Stop Cutie (mp3)

The Willis Brothers: When I Come Driving Through (mp3)

Don't blow smoke up the asses of giants. Support your local independent retailers.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sweetheart, You're a Cowgirl

Hi. How's it going?

All y'all probably wonderin' where the hell all the country music went. Well, from now 'til Thanksgiving, I'm gonna give you all the pre-70's country you so desperately crave. Yup. And if you're marking your calendars, might as well remind you that come Thanksgiving and all the way through Christmas, the 'Mountain's going daily(daily!) with Holiday music. Goody. Just so's you know.

I'm astonished by the lack of information on the world wide internet thing pertaining to Patsy Montana. Sure, you get lots of hits when searching, but all the biographical entries are virtually identical, and rather gloss over just how important she was/is to country and western music. A footnote more than driving force.

Like Jimmy Rodgers, Montana's primary years occurred long before record sales were properly tracked. By all estimates, and taking into account the population of the time, Montana probably outsold and outdrew by a good margin many of the artists working today. 'Course this was before music tastes split into a million different pieces, where, now, we're only allowed to listen to one type of music.

What's most important about Montana, asides from the great music she made, is the far flung influence she fostered. You can trace that influence to Rose Maddox, on to Wanda Jackson, through Dolly Parton, and living still in every woman working in country-influenced genres. Neko Case fans take note. She was the first woman in country to chart a million-selling album, she played in a "boy's" game, where woman were supposed to be backup singers, eye candy for the cowboys. She composed a good amount of her own songs, long before it was made acceptable to have a mind of one's own in the western tradition. She also had one hell of a great big yodellin' voice, that surely made more than a few lonely cowpokes a little uncomfortable (nudge nudge wink wink).

Patsy Montana died on May 3rd, 1996, after more than 60 years of music-making and trailblazing. Later that year she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Good job, guys. Glad you could, you know, get around to it.

Patsy Montana: I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (mp3)

Patsy Montana: A Rip,Rip Snorting Two-Gun Gal (mp3)

Lasso yr favorite cowgirls at yr local, independent rodeos and cattle drive

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Honkabilly Boptastic

Sleep well, Rosa Parks.

So I received a fantastic mix cd from the right Rev. Frost of Spread the Good Word, who's celebratin' his birthday right about now (or sleeping it off...what's the time difference?). Man, the man sets the bar high. I'm trying to return the favor, but it's a struggle. What do you give a preacher who already has everything worth having? A Barbara Streisand mix? You know, in keeping with the horror theme?

In my search I reacquainted myself with one Mr. Jerry J. Nixon, straight outta pasttime New Mexico, via Britannia. Or maybe not. See, there's some suggestion that Mr. Nixon is a hoax, albeit a very good one. Voodoo Rhythm Records, the company responsible for the compilation of all his recordings from the "Quality Records" sessions, has been known to be a touch on the pranksterish side.

Here's what we're told in the liner notes: Nixon was born in England as Gerald Hall, committed a crime, joined the merchant marines, and migrated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, changing his name to Jerry J. Nixon in the process. He worked in a cardboard factory, drove a truck, joined the Communist Party, and recorded some great, lost rockabilly classics on the side. He died penniless. Sounds fascinating. Wow, a true unknown legend. Except for the fact that several music journalists around the area claim never to have heard of him, and that the places mentioned in his bio, including Quality Records and the Q recording studio, never existed. Voodoo even included an article from the Santa Fe News suggesting Nixon was a hoax. Which begs the question, why? Admittance, a sly wink, or marketing? I dunno.

All of this is pointless, of course, if the music aint no good, or comes across as a joke. Which it most certainly does not, good sir. No, it sounds like the real thing. Actually it sounds fucking great, revved up honkeybilly swinging through late-nite battered and sweaty jukejoints, urgent and untamed, filtered through just the right amount of sepia ageing. It's an album one imagines could only come from the mid-50's rock rebellion (apparently the only smoking gun, music-wise, is the organ, which may have been made too late to be on these recordings). If you like your rock'n'tonkin'billy "pure", without the ironic, tryin' too hard, I got a costume shtick, this is the sound hummin' in your head. Boogie in a time machine. "Red Sun" is the apocalyptic raveup one always dreamed could only be made in a canyon, and "Saturday Midnight Bop" should remind everyone of the good ole over the bra, under the bra fumbles of a bygone era. Speeding car races on back roads optional.

So, is it real? Yeah. The dates and facts may not match up, but the music does. Mr. Nixon, wherever and whoever you actually are, the 'Mountain salutes you.

Jerry J. Nixon: Saturday Midnight Bop (mp3)

Jerry J. Nixon: Red Sun (mp3)

Support your local hucksters, pranksters and barely existing record shops. Before they blow away.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Rumble Alley

Thanks for all the kind words and e-mails. Y'all are swell.

Duane Eddy and Dick Dale seem to get the most attention,these days, of the myriad of instrumental geetar slingers of the 50's and 60's. And fair enough, but I'd add Link Wray to that list...make it a trinity. While Eddy is the sound of the deserts echoing off sand and canyons, and Dale takes on the pulse and flow of the vastest of oceans, Wray's is equally the space between the white lines of a southern backroad and the graffiti-strewn walls of a big city alley, all revved up speed and menace. Part of the genius of the Link Wray sound has to be credited to his brother, "Ray Vernon", whose studio wizardry on the cheap, and fascination with compression, helped forge the signature Link Wray tone, claustrophobic and dangerous, not safe for children. Hot rod races and gang wars. Straight outta D.C..

Link looked the part, too, rockin' the leather jacket like an early Ramone, he was punk 10 years before the Sonics, and certainly less contrived than the Velvet Underground. With Hasil Adkins, Link is owed a debt of gratitude from grease and trash rock labels like Norton (which has released a few Wray recordings), In the Red, and Sympathy for the Record Industry.

Since most are at least passingly familiar with his bigger "hits" ("Rumble" and "Rawhide" in particular), I thought I'd pull off a couple of tracks from the Ace Records collection, "Law of the Jungle" , which contains Wray's Swan Records sides and unreleased tracks. Of particular note is the rare vocal on "Soul Train" (not the one you think it is).

Link Wray: Soul Train (mp3)

Link Wray: Return of the Birdland (mp3)

Support your local record shop

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Drinking With a Diamond

Well. If you happened, for whatever reason, to be downtown Chicago on Friday morning and spotted an astonishingly beautiful woman in a weddin' dress followed by a rather shlumpy, shaggy headed fella looking extremely uncomfortable in a suit, heading toward the county court house, that'd probably have been me and the Missus. Yup, Missus. The Mountain done done it. Shackles and chains, 'n' all dat (and sorry to my legions of adoring female fans). Don't worry if you weren't invited, we didn't even bring the cat. It was a beautiful three minute ceremony, followed by an excruciating train trip to a destination to be referred to in a future post.

And so.

I really don't understand the hatred that folks have for Neil Diamond. I mean, I get that the man can venture into cheese at the drop of a hat, and that damn song about coming to America is a bit much, but every artist has their low point (even Tom Waits got talked into duetting with Bette Midler...would've liked to have heard that conversation). Ummm...ok, there's that Jonathan Livingston Seagull thing too. Alright, so Diamond asks for some of the scorn he gets. And then there's the contingent who loooove Neil, in an ironic hipster fashion. Neil Diamond on a trucker hat or something. Ah, the kids just keepin' it real.

But see, I'm a fan cuz the man is one of the best damn songwriters you've ever heard. Really. It's all well and good and modern to write wordy, tuneless manifestos on the plight of the downtrodden, or Raymond Carveresque slices of daily tedium, but does it make you want to sing along? Can the magazine cover band of choice make an entire bar full of cliques and clans stop what they're doing and sing along? No? Neil Diamond can. I've seen it, and not just in the movies. I don't even have to scrawl out the obscenely large list of songs by Diamond that have become part of our musical backdrop. You already know all the songs. Whether you're snickering or lustily agreeing. And the man, live, puts on a fucking show. You get what you pay for, even if the bloomers thrown up onstage are a little larger than they were 30 years ago. Sweat and sweet sweet Caroline.

So what the hell does Neil Diamond have to do with what we normally listen to here at the 'Mountain. Twofold: an infrequent series of posts about musicians that you may or may not be surprised that we like, and a farewell to one of my favorite songs. Maybe one of Diamond's most haunting tunes. Johnny Cash, who knows a bit about songwriting was fond of the song, too, though his take carries a different level of sadness.

Neil Diamond: Solitary Man (mp3)

Johnny Cash: Solitary Man (mp3)

Support your local Justice of the Peace.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Good Truckin' Tonite

The 'Mountain aint been real good about keeping it's long ago promise for...err...mountains of truckin' music. Wellll, shit, gotta change that. Yup, more road weary tales for all y'all little shavers. Roll on.

Dale Watson is a modern fella with an old diesel soul,a hard honkytonkin' mothertrucker with no love for Nashville's assembly line cream of the crap. Like fellow traveler Wayne Hancock, Watson's music has the history of country stamped in dust all over his catalogue. Naturally, he don't sell a whole lot rekkids. Shame. If yr gonna start with one (and you really should start), the 'Mountain recommends The Truckin' Sessions. For obvious reasons.

If you've been comin' here for any length of time, and still don't know or worship Dave Dudley, I'm a failure.

Giddyup and Go:

Dale Watson: Good Luck 'n' Good Truckin' Tonite (mp3)

Dave Dudley: I Want a Woman With Handles (mp3)

Eat at yr local truck stop.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pucker Up Buttercup

They fall. Sometimes they are honored and revered. Sometimes they disappear, a mere footnote in history, musical history. Sometimes memory fades. This world stinks of death and forgetting.

Paul "Wine" Jones died the other day. Don't know if you know him or not. If you've ever caught a Fat Possum caravan, you've seen him....usually playing second or first on a loaded bill. He was the youngest of the Fat Possum core stable...the blues men. He had, playing standing up, guitar in hand, and a fullass band behind him, working a southern pimp hat. He moved. I've probably seen Paul Jones live more than any other musician. Every goddamn time 'Possum sent out a tour, he seemed to be on it. In the shadows, though. Folks wanted to see the legends...the R.L.'s, the T-Model Fords. But it was Jones who shook their asses, made them want to dance. He was a fantastic singer, shaking off the tradition of Mississippi hill blues to incorporate a little Chicago in the mix. His voice wine in a paper bag. Raw and sweet, with a high kick.

At 59, surrounded by gods, he never had a chance to develop the legacy his labelmates had. Not enough time, and who was listening?

I don't know who's going to remember. A few short obits here and there, a blogger shooting off in space, in the dark. Then gone. Joining a funeral parade of ghosts we forgot we had.

Paul "Wine" Jones: My Baby Got Drunk (mp3)

Paul "Wine" Jones: Diggin' Mama's Taters (mp3)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Mad Dogs and Memphis Guns

Trash, trash, trash, trash, trash. What's the difference between trash and garage? What the hell am I talking about? I dunno. But I know it when I hear it.

I know I've already recently posted about another Jack Oblivion group (see the August 29th post for full fanboy love), but I can't seem to take his Jack O. & the Tearjerkers disc, "Don't Throw Your Love Away" out of my cd player. It aint stuck, I just aint willin' to stop listening (blatant lie of course. I had to take it out to load it up to the server. All men are liars). This well may be the album to beat this year, so far as the Mountain's top ten is concerned. Aw, I'm just gushin' here. It's a Memphis soul stew trashjunk frenzy of Exile outtake grease drippings and leering joyous menace. Unlike a recent album by another Jack, you can sing along without feeling like a 12 year old discovering his first hard on. Nah, this Jack knows what to do with it. And he's going to take you down to the corner with him. Spin won't review it, radio won't play it, and ipod won't be using it in a commercial. That should give you an idea how good it is. It's rock'n'roll. Remember that?

Jack O. and the Tearjerkers: Mad Dog 20/20 (mp3)

Support yr local trashmen.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Boozers Are Losers

How does one know when they've jumped the shark? Is this my moment, or has it happened already. Was it the KLF post? Maybe the fringe rock thing was overextended (though I've got another round planned for next month). Couldn't be the Christmas thing last year (that's coming back too), could it? Maybe somebody (and I aint mentionin' no names) needs to freakin' post more often. Regardless, I'm gonna refocus and hopefully get to the good stuff both of you stop here for.

Side note. Fixed a couple of links on the sidebar...Fire of Love is now Buzz the Jerk, and Mr. Barf' now The New Thematic! Their old site names are now porn sites. So, you know, do what you want with that. Also added Long Sought Home, a blog of old timey tunes about death, dyin', and the afterlife. Check it out.

Hoyt Axton is known primarily as the composer of "Joy to the World" and "The Pusher". Wait, come back, a man's gotta pay his bills. He's a big bear of a man with a baritone country drawl to match. Axton's best songs are his country songs, writing for himself or for fellow travelers like Arlo Guthrie in his early short song period. Guthrie's cover of "Lightnin' Bar Blues" is a particular transcendent moment. If you look at his early album covers, there was a definite attempt at casting Hoyt as a type of traveling hobo/Woody Guthrie type, and the songs matched the attempt. Axton's a fantastic songwriter, his wry observations bordering often on humorous, but never gimmicky, with flashes of the more serious side never far away. I have no explanation for "Joy to the World", though. Sorry.

So here's a sloppy, hobo ragtime band meets electric Bob Dylan version of Axton doing his "Lightnin' Bar Blues" ("When I die don't cry for me, Don't bury me at all, Place my livin', laughin', lovin' bones, In a jar of alcohol, Hundred proof alcohol"). And since this is the Mountain and Axton's a country singer, no career would be properly represented here without a truckin' song.


Hoyt Axton: Lightnin' Bar Blues (mp3)

Hoyt Axton: Gotta Keep Rollin' (mp3)

Support your local grizzled music vet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Glory Hallelujah

Sorry. Been gone again. Had a sudden opportunity to do something good, and it took me away for awhile.

Also, I take back my last post. Fuck George W. Bush.

Not much time, and I'm tired. So 'til I get bearings back, here's a prime piece of celebration from Mr. Otha Turner. All backwoods drumming and sweet Mississippi fife love. Sing along.

Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars: Glory, Glory Hallelujah (mp3)

Form your own drum and fife band. Give the money you save to something worthwhile (scroll down).

Monday, September 05, 2005

I'm in Love With That Song

It appears as if Alex Chilton is missing in New Orleans. Who knows how many more great musician are missing or lost. Information is sketchy at best, and even the word on Chilton is filtered through various sources. I'm wondering about Quintron, too. Musicians, of course, are no no more important than any other soul in this tragedy. But they do provide a face, a connect, to those who may not know any of the other names on the long rolls of the missing. How many nights did you huddle around your record player trying to decipher Big Star? How many times did you turn up Fats Domino on the radio? Got slinky with Irma Thomas? Some folks have made it out. Some.

There's a million political angles to this disaster. If people would spend as much time searching as they are giving press conferences, maybe more lives would be saved. I don't know. It's a helpless feeling. Heads will roll, and should,but can't we rescue people first? Match people up with their families? Feed the survivors? We're a divisive country in a desperate and divisive time, and there's a large amount of accountability waiting at the end. But, god, let's help the innocent first, and take down the guilty later. They'll get theirs. And should.

I don't much feel like selling product right now. Seriously, instead of buying a Replacements album, donate that money. Here's a list of worthwhile charities.

The Replacements: Alex Chilton (mp3)